A SCHOOL badly flooded after vandals ripped coper pipes out of its roof would have been forced to close this week if not for the mammoth efforts of staff and volunteers.

Barugh Green Primary suffered damage running into several thousands after the attack over the Easter holidays.

It was discovered by the relief caretaker last Thursday due to the regular caretaker being on holiday.

Michael Gilmore, who has been head teacher of the school since 1994, said he had never seen anything like it before.
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“I was shocked, annoyed, and in disbelief really,” he said.

“We’ve never had vandalism like this. We have had flooding before, we were flooded in 2007 when the rains came, and we’ve had the odd bust pipe, but nothing like this.

“The whole of the hall was about two inches under water. It doesn’t look as bad in the photos as it actually was.

“They’ve broken into the header tank which is on the roof, and from that they’ve taken copper piping. It’s flooded the dance studio, hall, staff room, corridor.

“It’s ruined musical instruments including an electric piano, 22 boxes of A4 paper has been destroyed, so that’s more than 100 reams.

“The dance studio is going to need a complete new floor. Some of the panelling in the hall needs to be replaced. We don't know about the hall floor yet, we’re waiting to see if that can be saved.

“We need new carpets, curtains need cleaning.

“We might have lost a couple of computers. We’re not sure yet, the electricians have advised we leave them for a week or so to fully dry out, then they’ll come and test them.

“It’s a real mess.”

It’s not known exactly when the attack occurred as it was during the Easter holiday.

The initial assessment was that the school would be unable to open this week. But apart from a damp smell, lots of visible damage and several areas being out of bounds, the school has managed to open as normal.

The first most parents knew about it was a letter given out on Monday.

“Thankfully we had a dedicated team of people who came to the rescue to make sure the school could stay open,” said Mr Gilmore.

“We had teachers and other staff, cleaners, electricians, a whole host of people who came and all got stuck in to help keep the school open.

“We had limited heating and water on Monday, but we managed to open, and we’re back to full strength now in terms of heat and water.

“Parents have been incredibly supportive, not least in terms of wanting to do things to help raise funds.”

The full cost of the damage won’t be known until at least after it is known whether the original parquet floor in the hall can be saved.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: “It was reported on April 5 that copper was taken from the school water tank sometime between March 26 and April 5. Anyone with information should call 101 quoting reference number 14/52970/18.”